The Second Step: I had a dirty mind and deliberately conjured up negative words, images and thoughts about alcohol. I really let my imagination get the better of me here, and I TRIED to visualize the most disgusting things I could … and then CONNECTED them to alcohol. I won’t say what they were here, because they were pretty bad! But, what happened is that after a few days of deliberately connecting words, images, and thoughts to alcohol they were soon joined at the hip.
SECOND STEP SUMMARY: Visualize the most disgusting images you can involving alcohol. If you see a glass of beer PICTURE it as really someone’s urine. Say the word URINE to yourself when you see someone drinking a beer. If you see a glass of wine PICTURE it as blood. Say the word BLOOD to yourself when you see a glass of wine. Attach the most vile and disgusting images to whatever your favorite drink was, and in a couple of days it will become automatic. Alcohol = _______ (fill in the blank with the most ugly, disgusting words and images you can come up with). You will soon, naturally, be repulsed by the sight of an alcoholic drink. See Quit Drinking by Using the Power of Imagination for a few ways to attach negative mental imagery to alcohol.
The Third Step: Each day I focused on small improvements in my life. Each morning I paid special attention to the fact that I just felt better, stronger, and happier. I also noticed that my face was a bit less puffy, and the bags under my eyes a bit less noticeable. I tried to notice every little change for the better, and I tried to do it all day long. Noticing and FOCUSING in on the improvements brought them to the forefront of my thoughts, making them a priority, and helped reinforce my desire to quit.
THIRD STEP SUMMARY: This is the opposite of the first step. Simply put, constantly remind yourself of how you NOW feel better, look better, have more money, think more clearly, and will LIVE LONGER since alcohol is out of your life. Notice even the little positives, such as how you now spend more time with your kids, or exercise more often, or eat healthier. Life is all about the little things. I don’t mean to just be thankful for your “blessings” (the 5th step below) but FOCUS on how much your life is getting better each day.
The Fourth Step: I acted like I’ve been sober for years, even though it was only a few days. And I acted like alcohol meant nothing, even though (at first) it meant a lot. It’s hard to explain this, but “acting the part” helped me become what I wanted to become because I began to do all the little things that a sober person might do. In essence, it was easier to become sober when I acted like I ALREADY WAS sober!
FOURTH STEP SUMMARY: Act (and think and talk) as if you’ve been sober for years, even if it’s only been a day or two. Something mysterious happens to you when you do this, and yet it’s also quite simple: you BECOME the type of person that you act like TODAY. The reason this works is because when you “act the part” you sub-consciously begin to adapt the habits and thoughts required to become the type of person you wish to become. And the more you “act the part”, the more you become your ideal you. Basically, acting the part makes it easy to walk the walk. (article continues below)